Bob Brookover is taking it on the chin in the internet thought marketplace today for his skeptical Markelle Fultz column. But even the biggest detractor must admit it brings the goods right from the jump in a piece titled Risk and price too high for Markelle Fultz.
I confess that I have never seen Markelle Fultz play a basketball game and I was not at his 76ers workout Saturday in Camden. Still, it is hard to stamp a seal of approval on what the franchise is about to do.
If, as expected, the 76ers complete a trade with the Boston Celtics on Monday that gives them the first overall selection in the draft for a second straight year, there is only one way that it will go down as a great decision. Fultz, who turned 19 less than a month ago, must be the game’s next great point guard in an era that has placed so much emphasis on that position.
For what the Sixers are reportedly sending to the Celtics, they must get the next Russell Westbrook, the next James Harden, or the next Steph Curry in return. Anything less and this trade will join so many other franchise failures since 2001, when the Sixers made their last appearance in the NBA Finals.
Now, ideally, consumers would get their sports news and takes from informed sources. But let’s give credit to Brookover for his honesty. Finding Fultz’s Washington Huskies on cable last year was not an easy task for those on the East Coast. A major reason for that was the Huskies’ 9-22 record, a mark Brookover points to as a major red flag — and indicator Fultz isn’t the next great NBA point guard.
It’s not the most sound position ever used for a column’s foundation and is getting picked apart for obvious reasons. This is all well and good, of course, but the awkward truth is that Brookover’s take may prove to be 100 percent accurate.
Fultz, despite looking like a can’t miss, could miss. Josh Jackson could have a Hall of Fame career. The 76ers’ big move could blow up in their face. Even the most self-serious and learned sports pundits know, deep down, the future is hard to predict. Brookover could be spot-on here with an empty basket of information.
So laugh if you want. Just know that there’s plenty of other guys out there breaking down Fultz and other draft prospects who have never seen them play. And they won’t admit it. Something to think about.